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Posted: 1/19/2006 12:51:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 12:58:07 PM EDT by Dance]
Not only public elementary and senior high schools have problems, it looks like a college education isn't that great either.

Do you find what is listed as moderately hard tasks?

hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/L/LITERACY_COLLEGE_STUDENTS?SITE=PAPOT&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2006-01-19-14-44-04

Study: Most College Students Lack Skills

By BEN FELLER
AP Education Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nearing a diploma, most college students cannot handle many complex but common tasks, from understanding credit card offers to comparing the cost per ounce of food.

Those are the sobering findings of a study of literacy on college campuses, the first to target the skills of students as they approach the start of their careers.

More than 50 percent of students at four-year schools and more than 75 percent at two-year colleges lacked the skills to perform complex literacy tasks.

That means they could not interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school.

The results cut across three types of literacy: analyzing news stories and other prose, understanding documents and having math skills needed for checkbooks or restaurant tips.

"It is kind of disturbing that a lot of folks are graduating with a degree and they're not going to be able to do those things," said Stephane Baldi, the study's director at the American Institutes for Research, a behavioral and social science research organization.

Most students at community colleges and four-year schools showed intermediate skills, meaning they could perform moderately challenging tasks. Examples include identifying a location on a map, calculating the cost of ordering office supplies or consulting a reference guide to figure out which foods contain a particular vitamin.

There was brighter news.


Overall, the average literacy of college students is significantly higher than that of adults across the nation. Study leaders said that was encouraging but not surprising, given that the spectrum of adults includes those with much less education.

Also, compared with all adults with similar levels of education, college students had superior skills in searching and using information from texts and documents.

"But do they do well enough for a highly educated population? For a knowledge-based economy? The answer is no," said Joni Finney, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, an independent and nonpartisan group.

"This sends a message that we should be monitoring this as a nation, and we don't do it," Finney said. "States have no idea about the knowledge and skills of their college graduates."

The survey examined college and university students nearing the end of their degree programs. The students did the worst on matters involving math, according to the study.

Almost 20 percent of students pursuing four-year degrees had only basic quantitative skills. For example, the students could not estimate if their car had enough gas to get to the service station. About 30 percent of two-year students had only basic math skills.

Baldi and Finney said the survey should be used as a tool. They hope state leaders, educators and university trustees will examine the rigor of courses required of all students.

The survey showed a strong relationship between analytic coursework and literacy. Students in two-year and four-year schools scored higher when they took classes that challenged them to apply theories to practical problems or weigh competing arguments.

The college survey used the same test as the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, the government's examination of English literacy among adults. The results of that study were released in December, showing about one in 20 adults is not literate in English.

On campus, the tests were given in 2003 to a representative sample of 1,827 students at public and private schools. The Pew Charitable Trusts funded the survey.

It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:58:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 12:58:38 PM EDT by highwayman]
No way! Our colleges can't be turning out idiots. That's why they're so expensive! MJD
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:59:48 PM EDT
Boy did I save alot of money by not going.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:01:24 PM EDT
Common sense is seen as unimportant in most colleges and universities
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:01:32 PM EDT
What about bow hunting skills and computer hacking skills?
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:02:13 PM EDT

Study: Most College Students Americans Lack Skills



You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.


Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:05:14 PM EDT
Today I watched a Junior in college argue with an Oxford educated professor about if Africa was the second largest continent.

The Junior's argument was that Africa was the largest, because people evolved from there, it was bigger than some other places, "and stuff".

Apparently he thought "Asia" only meant, well, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:11:23 PM EDT
The biggest moron I ever met was straight out of college with a master's degree. He eventually sharpened up a tiny bit with work experience, but straight out of a master's degree he was worthless.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:14:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 1:17:36 PM EDT by 5isalive]
nevermind
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:18:53 PM EDT
Bush's fault...

Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:22:17 PM EDT

On campus, the tests were given in 2003 to a representative sample of 1,827 students at public and private schools.


Imagine sitting in a class. You're told to take a test that doesn't effect your grade since it's for a "study." How hard are you going to try? Or are you just going to skim the questions and guess? Don't give me that B.S. about doing your best. This is America. You're not gonna put forth effort unless you get something out of it, whether a good grade, money, or personal satisfaction. This study offered none of that.

They would probably get similar results in a high school. Oh wait, we're graduating people that can't read.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:23:24 PM EDT
Girlz like guys with skillz.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:23:52 PM EDT
And this is a surprise? To the libs running our colleges and schools today it's not what you know, but rather what you think you know. As long as they make sure you think you know how to do things, and think you're prepared for the real world, that's what really counts. It's a students self esteem that's most important, not trivial things like knowledge and skills.



-K
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:24:56 PM EDT
American college kids are below par because college professors don't get paid based on the quality of students they put out. If your career hinged more on writing theory and BS opinions, then you would spend more time typing and less time "professing".
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:25:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BuckeyeRifleman:
Common sense is seen as unimportant in most colleges and universities



yep...and society at large. even here on this PC gunboard...
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:28:05 PM EDT
I choose not to go to college becuase college is bullshit. Its is all about making money. I knew i was going to start my own business wheather i went to college or not. I choose not to go to college because i could not belive that it would benifit me. I know a shit load of people that run multi million dollar construction companies that are complete morons, idoits, and drunks that have no college education. I'm not a moron or a drunk, so i think i'll do ok.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:40:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RuskEnt:
I choose not to go to college becuase college is bullshit. Its is all about making money. I knew i was going to start my own business wheather i went to college or not. I choose not to go to college because i could not belive that it would benifit me. I know a shit load of people that run multi million dollar construction companies that are complete morons, idoits, and drunks that have no college education. I'm not a moron or a drunk, so i think i'll do ok.



The irony.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:47:19 PM EDT
Considering most kids go to college to party and not study... this isn't shocking. Many of those I knew Freshmen year never made it to graduation. They weren't there to learn.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:57:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By RuskEnt:
I choose not to go to college becuase college is bullshit. Its is all about making money. I knew i was going to start my own business wheather i went to college or not. I choose not to go to college because i could not belive that it would benifit me. I know a shit load of people that run multi million dollar construction companies that are complete morons, idoits, and drunks that have no college education. I'm not a moron or a drunk, so i think i'll do ok.



The irony.



You missed a few things.

Capitalization errors in blue.

Phrase with misplaced modifier in green. (The people are morons, not the companies.)
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 2:00:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By RuskEnt:
I choose not to go to college becuase college is bullshit. Its is all about making money. I knew i was going to start my own business wheather i went to college or not. I choose not to go to college because i could not belive that it would benifit me. I know a shit load of people that run multi million dollar construction companies that are complete morons, idoits, and drunks that have no college education. I'm not a moron or a drunk, so i think i'll do ok.



The irony.


Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:12:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By California_Kid:

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By RuskEnt:
I choose not to go to college becuase college is bullshit. Its is all about making money. I knew i was going to start my own business wheather i went to college or not. I choose not to go to college because i could not belive that it would benifit me. I know a shit load of people that run multi million dollar construction companies that are complete morons, idoits, and drunks that have no college education. I'm not a moron or a drunk, so i think i'll do ok.



The irony.



You missed a few things.

Capitalization errors in blue.

Phrase with misplaced modifier in green. (The people are morons, not the companies.)




Somehow, colleges must try to see if they can go on and survive without him.



Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:18:36 PM EDT
No, colleges (for the most part) are too busy cramming leftwing bullshit down the student's throats to teach them anything else.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:18:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By California_Kid:
You missed a few things.



rofl! I didn't want to be TOO critical! hread!
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:20:42 PM EDT
<------Makes me glad I go to a good school.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:20:47 PM EDT
It's hard to study when you're sucking on a keg.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:21:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
Boy did I save alot of money by not going.



No shit. My friend and I had this conversation last night. OTJ training is so much better.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:23:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GabbasaurusRex:
It's hard to study when you're sucking on a keg.



That's quitter talk.



And, what the beer helmet was designed for!!
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:23:42 PM EDT
I teach in public school. Most high school students don't know shit from Shinola. They don't know about things mechanical, economics, psychology, history, o heck, the list is endless.

There are so few kids coming out of my high school that I consider capable of being successful in a rigorous, non-liberal arts school.

But then, most of their parents stopped trying to learn, too.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:25:16 PM EDT
It doesn't help that most of the classes are taught by a teaching assistant rather than the actual professor.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:27:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LARRYG:
No, colleges (for the most part) are too busy cramming leftwing bullshit down the student's throats to teach them anything else.


I agree. I am taking a music course and the prof said "You people buy CD's right and not download your music off the internet?"
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:30:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ctprelude:
It doesn't help that most of the classes are taught by a teaching assistant rather than the actual professor.



Yes professors are to good to teach these days. Out of five of my classes, one is taught by a professor, the other four are graduate students or teaching assistants. I understand some professors are there to do research. BUT some professors THINK they should be doing research and not teaching (being jealous of those professors who don't have to teach) so they try and act like they are to good to give a lecture.

I'm glad my peers are dumbasses, makes it easy to get an A

Maybe they should ban fraternities on campus, might help them dumbasses learn something. Frats and sororities used to be nice social clubs for the upity when in school, but these days they are there to help underage kids have parties every weekend. They serve no purpose on a modern college campus.

College, for the smart, is just a club. Once you have that bachelors or upper level degree you met a requirement for a job, the box is checked, and they may or may not hire you.....

Off to go get my A in calculus 2.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:36:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 3:37:13 PM EDT by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By LonePathfinder:

Originally Posted By ctprelude:
It doesn't help that most of the classes are taught by a teaching assistant rather than the actual professor.



Yes professors are to good to teach these days. Out of five of my classes, one is taught by a professor, the other four are graduate students or teaching assistants. I understand some professors are there to do research. BUT some professors THINK they should be doing research and not teaching (being jealous of those professors who don't have to teach) so they try and act like they are to good to give a lecture.




Some of you are going to the wrong schools - and it has nothing to do with research.

I am a research professor - my job is to conduct empirical research and publish it in top journals.

I have NEVER had a graduate student teach any class for me. Neither do I know of any of my colelagues (not just at my school, but colleagues who are researchers at other universities) that have graduate students teach for them.

If I tried to make a graduate student teach a class that I was being paid to teach, I would be in the Dean's office so fast it would make my head spin.




Obviously, YMMV. Perhaps the problem you are describing is endemic to large state schools that have huge classes with multiple section, and let graduate students teach them.

However - also keep in mind that new faculty need to learn how to teach somewhere, and the only way to learn how is by doing. If universities have large doctoral programs, they will often allow Ph.D. students to teach in their final year. This isn't so some slacker professor doesn't have to - but rather it is a way to allow doctoral students to get some teachign experience (sueprvised by faculty) and to get smaller class sized for students. It's a win-win.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:04:51 PM EDT
This is what gets me:

Complex literary tasks: interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school.

Moderately challenging literary tasks. identifying a location on a map, calculating the cost of ordering office supplies or consulting a reference guide to figure out which foods contain a particular vitamin.

Children should be able to easily do the moderately challenging tasks by 6th grade and the complex tasks by the end of middle school (8th grade). Yet college students can't.

Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:20:57 PM EDT
Of the first 10 teachers I have had so far, 8 hold advanced degrees in their field, and several are published authots. Of the two that are not doctors or the equivalent, one will have a doctorate in three months and the other taught a Speech Communication class....using the book her husband wrote. So not all schools are shitty. You get what you pay for

Yes, I am a liberal arts student. I came to college to learn HOW to think. Not WHAT to think. I have 26 assigned textbooks this semester, and more than 100 pages of writing to do. Anyone who thinks that a Political Science degree is for the brain dead should STFU. Then there is my second major....
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 5:25:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BuckeyeRifleman:
Common sense is seen as unimportant in most colleges and universities


+1
Seriously some of the biggest tards I worked with had higher degrees . Their main problemn was they were not smart enough to know that they did not know everthing , there is no shame in having to check on something or look something up
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:22:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By California_Kid:

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By RuskEnt:
I choose not to go to college becuase college is bullshit. Its is all about making money. I knew i was going to start my own business wheather i went to college or not. I choose not to go to college because i could not belive that it would benifit me. I know a shit load of people that run multi million dollar construction companies that are complete morons, idoits, and drunks that have no college education. I'm not a moron or a drunk, so i think i'll do ok.



The irony.



You missed a few things.

Capitalization errors in blue.

Phrase with misplaced modifier in green. (The people are morons, not the companies.)




Somehow, colleges must try to see if they can go on and survive without him.






Fuck you guys! I think i spelt that right!
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:41:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Of the first 10 teachers I have had so far, 8 hold advanced degrees in their field, and several are published authots. Of the two that are not doctors or the equivalent, one will have a doctorate in three months and the other taught a Speech Communication class....using the book her husband wrote. So not all schools are shitty. You get what you pay for

Yes, I am a liberal arts student. I came to college to learn HOW to think. Not WHAT to think. I have 26 assigned textbooks this semester, and more than 100 pages of writing to do. Anyone who thinks that a Political Science degree is for the brain dead should STFU. Then there is my second major....



Aaaah, ghrasssshoppah...this is what you seek:

epistemology: The branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity.

Oh...and ditch the PolSci degree and pick up an engineering major. At least as a second major. Do you really wanna be on the path to bloodsucking lawyerhood? Don't fall to the Dark Side!

Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:43:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:

Originally Posted By LonePathfinder:

Originally Posted By ctprelude:
It doesn't help that most of the classes are taught by a teaching assistant rather than the actual professor.



Yes professors are to good to teach these days. Out of five of my classes, one is taught by a professor, the other four are graduate students or teaching assistants. I understand some professors are there to do research. BUT some professors THINK they should be doing research and not teaching (being jealous of those professors who don't have to teach) so they try and act like they are to good to give a lecture.




Some of you are going to the wrong schools - and it has nothing to do with research.

I am a research professor - my job is to conduct empirical research and publish it in top journals.

I have NEVER had a graduate student teach any class for me. Neither do I know of any of my colelagues (not just at my school, but colleagues who are researchers at other universities) that have graduate students teach for them.

If I tried to make a graduate student teach a class that I was being paid to teach, I would be in the Dean's office so fast it would make my head spin.




Obviously, YMMV. Perhaps the problem you are describing is endemic to large state schools that have huge classes with multiple section, and let graduate students teach them.

However - also keep in mind that new faculty need to learn how to teach somewhere, and the only way to learn how is by doing. If universities have large doctoral programs, they will often allow Ph.D. students to teach in their final year. This isn't so some slacker professor doesn't have to - but rather it is a way to allow doctoral students to get some teachign experience (sueprvised by faculty) and to get smaller class sized for students. It's a win-win.



I'm not saying they make one of their students do it for them, I'm just saying some are envious of the pure research professors. They have an attitude and it shows. I know how it works, my father is primarily a research professor and has to teach one class per three semesters.


Perfect example: Wed. I had my first class of Art History II (my school wouldn't drop the fine arts requirement ) and this guy in his mid 50's is teaching the class. He is a full professor. The class is in a older building with no central air, so two window units are providing heat and he is running a 25 year old POS slide projector. With those three mechanical devices and no microphone system in the room NO ONE can hear this guy lecture. He doesn't even TRY to speak up. He says "I was not blessed with a booming voice" Five seperate students in the back 2/3rds of the room (of approx ~75 kids in the class) asks if he could possibly speak up. He says move to the front of the room. The room seats probably 90 people, so there is not a lot of empty seats to begin with. Sure "move to the front" worked for the first two people and he starts to tell the third person to ask him to speak up to move closer. Then he realizes there are not any more seats. Then this asshat says, "guess you are out of luck."

WTF is that! He is not even talking in a normal tone of voice. He is practically wispering. He is making NO effort to speak up at all. I can understand if a few people can't hear him, but 2/3 of the class can't. He doesn't care. He just sits up there behind his desk flipping through slides talking about...well I don't know we couldn't hear.

Shit like that pisses me off. I am hear to learn and I am doing my best to do so. Professors should be in that class room to teach, not fufill their departmental requirements. Sound off for God sakes!
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:50:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dance:

"States have no idea about the knowledge and skills of their college graduates."




Good. What the government doesn't know about it can't screw up.

If half of college students wanted to be smart, there'd be a ten month wait on each book at the public library.

Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:56:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 6:56:19 PM EDT by SevenMMmag]
I see firsthand examples of this situation almost everyday at my college.

One day, this kid just finishes washing his clothes, but all the dryers are in use. So the genius ends up hanging his wet pants over an exposed lightbulb in his dorm room to dry them out. He leaves the room to get dinner, and when he comes back...whatdya know, his room is on fire. Sprinkler system comes on and all of his and his roommates electronics equipment is damaged or destroyed. What wasn't ruined by water was ruined by fire. Proof that just because you're in an ivy league college doesn't mean you're smart.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:57:38 PM EDT
I remember when I was a freshman in 1996. I was taking a nap in my dorm when my neighbor woke me up and asked me if I could help him with something. I thought it was an emergency - but nope, he wanted me to show him how to write a check. His major you ask? BUSINESS!
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 7:03:16 PM EDT
I really wish I was surprised.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 7:03:28 PM EDT
I think they've dumbed down the whole college experience so EVERYBODY has a chance to go. Now we have a bunch of "educated idiots" with degrees. There is no longer a real incentive to get a degree when ANYBODY can get one. Of course that’s just my cynical view and we’ll all be working at some service related job anyway soon once the Pakistanis and Indians take over more of our jobs.

Link Posted: 1/19/2006 7:13:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
Boy did I save alot of money by not going.



I went to a C.C. for a while and didn't like it. Cost me less than $500 to find out that bit of info.

So, plus freaking plus about me not trying to get into a 4 year school.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 7:21:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rcoers:
I remember when I was a freshman in 1996. I was taking a nap in my dorm when my neighbor woke me up and asked me if I could help him with something. I thought it was an emergency - but nope, he wanted me to show him how to write a check. His major you ask? BUSINESS!


That certainly would make the WTF meter go off the scale.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 7:58:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RyanAR15:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Of the first 10 teachers I have had so far, 8 hold advanced degrees in their field, and several are published authots. Of the two that are not doctors or the equivalent, one will have a doctorate in three months and the other taught a Speech Communication class....using the book her husband wrote. So not all schools are shitty. You get what you pay for

Yes, I am a liberal arts student. I came to college to learn HOW to think. Not WHAT to think. I have 26 assigned textbooks this semester, and more than 100 pages of writing to do. Anyone who thinks that a Political Science degree is for the brain dead should STFU. Then there is my second major....



Aaaah, ghrasssshoppah...this is what you seek:

epistemology: The branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity.

Oh...and ditch the PolSci degree and pick up an engineering major. At least as a second major. Do you really wanna be on the path to bloodsucking lawyerhood? Don't fall to the Dark Side!




Bloodsucking lawyerhood? Hell yeah. With a law degree I could make between a quarter and a half mil a year before I turn thirty, working for the family.

Not that I LIKE lawyers as a group, mind you.

All the engineering and such that I need to know I will get on the job. We're in the construction business, but someone else draws the buildings for us.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 8:06:17 PM EDT

Originally quoted by Will Hunting:
See, the sad thing about a guy like you is in 50 years you're gonna staht doin some thinkin on your own and you're gonna come up with the fact that there are two certaintees in life. One, don't do that. And Two, you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fuckin education you coulda got for a dollah fifty in late chahges at the public library.

Link Posted: 1/19/2006 8:11:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By deej86:

Originally Posted By rcoers:
I remember when I was a freshman in 1996. I was taking a nap in my dorm when my neighbor woke me up and asked me if I could help him with something. I thought it was an emergency - but nope, he wanted me to show him how to write a check. His major you ask? BUSINESS!


That certainly would make the WTF meter go off the scale.



He was a spoiled rich kid from Conneticut. He also had no idea what I was talking about when I mentioned "full coverage" on car insurance.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 8:16:44 PM EDT
I have skills!

bow hunting skills, ninja skills, computer hacking skills...
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 8:20:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SevenMMmag:
I see firsthand examples of this situation almost everyday at my college.

One day, this kid just finishes washing his clothes, but all the dryers are in use. So the genius ends up hanging his wet pants over an exposed lightbulb in his dorm room to dry them out. He leaves the room to get dinner, and when he comes back...whatdya know, his room is on fire. Sprinkler system comes on and all of his and his roommates electronics equipment is damaged or destroyed. What wasn't ruined by water was ruined by fire. Proof that just because you're in an ivy league college doesn't mean you're smart.



hello fellow cornellian!

i was in donlon when that happened... i had to study for a calc prelim the next day... didn't appreciate being stuck outside the building for a few hours while the firetrucks came
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 8:22:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thelastgunslinger:
What about bow hunting skills and computer hacking skills?



I learned AR skills and computer hacking skills in college.

My nunchuck skills I learned in high school though.
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